I am Korea

나는대한민국

There was a show i watch yesterday on KBS World it is a Korean Broadcasting Station. The show was called I AM KOREA, this show is about the preparation for a great celebration of Korean Independence. This year they celebrate 70 years.

So the project is to create a big Chorus, with 700 000 people, so they have invited all the active chorus from all over the Korea from Seoul to Jeju to participate, aside from it they are creating a special chorus which will include people who was born in 1945 and they are currently 70 years. old.

While watching this Show, through out the show i had only 4 People on my mind, My Grand Parents. They have lived all their lives with Korea in their hearts and never had a chance to visit the place they have always talked about, the place they have dreamed about, the place they have always sang about. Right now I have only Grand Mother who is still alive and she is one who had taught me to sing my first Korea song, I used to sing it all the time with her, while she was sewing my new dress, though that time i did not know even the meaning of those songs but I could feel that they were about Korea.

I will brief you about the Korean people in Central Asia. Korean people had traveled across the sea for new life opportunity, During Japanese occupation period. So this is how they were end up on Russian Territory. Many of them were fighting Japanese from there and other were just trying to survive. When the Second World War has started, Stalin had ordered to Move all the Korean population to Central Asia, because they were afraid that Korean people will start to fight against Soviet people. Korean people were allowed only to do the field work and never allowed to participate in a war, but many still tried to fight Germans and protect Soviet Union. So this is how my Grand Parent end up in Uzbekistan. My grandmother used to tell me that she was about 4 years old that time, when Russian Soldiers came to their house, it was very early in the morning,  gave her a big chunk of sugar and then they have been taken away to the train station. Lots of Koreans died lots of them lost their family members and it took them ages to reunite. My grandfather from my mothers side was educated and he had even managed to graduate and hold a degree but his wife, my Grand mother could not even speak Russian properly, till she died the only language she had spoken was Korean. I remember how they have kept all Korean Newspapers in the living hall, and my Grandfather was reading them over and over again, this is how my Younger sister had learn how to read Korean. They had missed Korea a lot and they had so little to cherish, only memories and those newspapers.

grandimage1

Many times I have been asked if I am from South or from North Korea, I always say that I don’t know, because when my Great Grand parent left Korean land it was still just Korea, as One united.

I have visited Korea few time already, and every time I feel sorry that my grand parents never had this chance, and every time i visit the old villages museums in Korea I start to remember the old days, when our houses were just the same, Korean people in Central Asia were building the same houses, with the same heating system and the same yards.

I am Korea, this is so much suites to my Grandparents, if they would only had a chance to Enjoy Korea, because they loved Korea so much, their love for their country was undying and unconditional.

And when I sing that old Korean song now with my Grandmother in my heart, its always aches and always bring back memories, Arirang, Arirang, Arariyo…

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My Grandfather’s song

Many years had passed, I think my Grand Father was already 70, when I have witness the meeting of my grandfather and his first wife.

She had recovered and left the city, married and had another daughter, and thanks to the daughters they have reunited after many, many years. They could not look straight into each other eyes and I felt more sadness for my Grand Mom, because at that moment she felt very uncomfortable. They exchange few words in Korean, she refused to stay for dinner and left. It was the last time they have ever met.

It’s been almost 5 years since my grandfather left this world, to continue his life with the pretty angels. He was sick for about a year straggling with the failed liver. I saw him for the last time just a month before he died.

Only after he left, my Grand Mom had started to talk about her life with him, I have never knew till then how unhappy and how angry she was all those times. She was keep on saying that my grand father never loved her, never cared about her, because he could never forget his first wife and forgive himself for giving up on her. Thou for my Grand mom it was a love marriage, he was in love with my granddad when they have met, as for my grand dad is was just an arranged thing, he was forced into that by his own aunt and older brother.

I don’t know if he met his first wife in heaven, but I hope they did. I hope they had a very long conversation and said to each other all what they had to say for so many years. I AM SORRY, I LOVE YOU, I FORGIVE YOU.

But i will always remember my grandfather singing to my grandmother on her 60th birthday. I remember the tears of my uncles and aunties, because to was his token of appreciation for all those years. It was the only time for many people who knew him, including me and my parents, including my aunties and uncles. it was for the first time and the last time we all heard him sing.

Next week i am going to see my grandmother, and when I am going to her a hug i am gonna hold her tight like no one did before, and i am gonna tell her that I love her, like no one told her before.

THE END

My Grandfather’s favourite Child

I remember that day when I have learned the story about the other wedding.

I was not a small girl any more and very much matured, and when I finally asked my mother about it, i was sure she would tell me everything, because, remember, i was her spy,

– don’t tell me you didn’t know it yet?

I was surprised about my Mom’s reaction, and she said

– I thought your older cousin has already told you everything.

– My older cousin?

– Your cousins mother is your grandfather’s daughter from the first wife.

– So my grandma is his second wife? and she is not my aunty’s mother?

– yes, But this is something you should not talk about, I hope you understand.

The story i have learned from my mom was short. My grand father had a first wife, who was diagnosed with tuberculosis right after giving the birth to their daughter, and she was in the hospital for a long time with no way to see her and no way for her to be dismissed.Those time there was no cure for it and anyone who has been diagnosed with it had very little chances for life. So after a year of waiting, my grand father had married my grand mom.

During next years after i learn the truth, i started to understand about so many past comments to conversations i have heard.

I learned that my Grand father loved his first wife a lot and she was very beautiful, though he was a play boy, a very handsome playboy she won his heart.

I have noticed that my Oldest Aunt so much not alike to the rest children in the family and I have noticed that she loved her step mom a lot and they did get along well, and she always remained as my grandfather’s favourite child.

to be continued…

My Grandfather’s Other wedding

After I moved to a new school it took me a while to adjust, but thanks to my first teacher, i was a disappointment for my new teacher.

Of day my grand parents finally visited us and i was waiting for my grand father with the school group foot from the previous school.

– GrandDaddy, my first teacher look at her. Do you remember her? she said she knows you and she was at your weeding.

My Grand father looked at the picture for a while and said that it was so long ago he doesn’t remember.

Then i gave the same picture to my GrandMom and asked her.

– She was at your wedding, may be you can remember her?

she looked at the picture and said in Korean

– I think it was the other wedding.

By that time i have learn to hide my ability to understand Korean, because i used to play the game called Spy and i was my Mom’s spy every time I was with my father’s parents.

OTHER WEDDING was in my mind for a long time, i think it took almost 10 years to find out what she meant.

My Grand Mom was my grand father’s second wife.

to be continued…

TO MY GRAND DADS

there are some days when i feel sorry

for many things i haven’t done

for things that i forgot to tell you

how much you gave me in your life

Today i miss you more then ever

i miss your eyes and warmth of words

for you just living in the planet

i miss you and you are not around

i want to tell you, hope you hear me

you were the greatest Grand Dad in the world

you are the person i needed always

to guide me thought my present life.

I want to tell you that i am thankful

for you to chose me as you blood

for all your love for all your patience

for you i am thankful all the time

no matter what they say about you

for me, you always be the best

the best of man the best of human

the best what happened in my life

you were my happiness then sorrow

now you are living in my heart

you were my hero now my angel

but you will always be my Grand Dad whom i love